On Thursday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" to attack President Bush's "pissy juvenile blast" for the President's criticism of the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" ad during the day's news conference, accusing him of "hypocrisy" for not criticizing what Olbermann called the Republican "hamstringing of Captain Max Cleland and the lying about Lieutenant John Kerry." Olbermann further accused Bush of "pimping" General David Petraeus and of making the general into a "political hack" at the risk of moving America's government toward a "military junta." Olbermann: "It is a line which history shows is always the first one crossed when a democratic government in some other country has started down the long, slippery, suicidal slope towards a military junta. Get back behind that line, Mr. Bush, before some of your supporters mistake your dangerous and stupid transgression as a call to further politicize our military." (Transcript follows)
Sticking and moving like a prize fighter, talk show host and author Laura Ingraham, outnumbered in a three against one fight, took out not only "Hardball" host Chris Matthews but his colleague David Shuster and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, as well.
View video here. (courtesy NB contributor Mark Finkelstein)
On Thursday night's "Hardball" Ingraham took Matthews to task for his outrageous claims about the Iraq war being about oil as she threw his past bias in his face: "What? What? Chris are, were you the one, the other night, correct me if I'm wrong, who said that we should hang Exxon and Mobil signs at, at Arlington National Cemetery?" Then Ingraham slapped down Matthews about his pessimistic view on the war: "Chris, I'm different from [where] you are on this. I actually have hope that goodness will prevail."
"I'm a Dan Man myself, so I tend to look at this from his viewpoints [sic]." -- WaPo media critic Tom Shales, on today's "Morning Joe."
It's a morning for candor on "Morning Joe." Earlier, Mika "Bubbles" Brzezinski had admitted that "the SATs were not my strong suit." Later in the show, the notoriously tough-on-conservatives [see, e.g., MRC item #3 here] Tom Shales acknowledged that he has a soft spot for Dan Rather, calling himself a "Dan Man."
I'll say. Despite the overwhelming mountain of uncontroverted and incontrovertible evidence, Shales refuses to admit the obvious: that the documents at the heart of Memogate were the most transparent [literally] and amateurish of forgeries.
Substitute anchor Willie Geist interviewed Shales at 8:30 A.M. EDT this morning.
Upset that a University of Florida student was tasered by campus police at a John Kerry event, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's, "Hardball" feared it was a result of the "fascistic notion" of American troops "forcing" democracy on Iraqis at "gunpoint", filtering back home.
Chris Matthews: "You know when we walk into those, every night on television you watch pictures of American soldiers risking their lives to break into homes in Baghdad, at gunpoint, telling people to go along with the government that we've set up over there. Democracy at gunpoint. I wonder if it's filtered back here at home. I wonder if it's drift back home? The idea that democracy is something you do at gunpoint. ‘Either you behave and do it this way and show up by putting your fingers in the ink and doing it this way or you're an insurgent, therefore, we can round you up and if you resist we can kill you.'That notion it's a bit fascist and it's certainly a fascistic notion of democracy we're forcing, forcing on people over there. They didn't invited us into Iraq and I wonder now whether we are picking up some of the bad habits of the war front?"
Even as the words were leaving his mouth, Joe Scarborough acknowledged that he was going to get "killed by conservative bloggers." And being the obliging sorts we are here at NewsBusters . . .
Interviewing Hillary Clinton on today's "Morning Joe," Scarborough's performance was one long paean to her perfection, coupled with a mea culpa for the wrongs that he and other Republicans visited on the Clintons during the '90s.
Chris Matthews might as well have chanted "No Blood For Oil" throughout the Monday edition of MSNBC's "Hardball" as he sounded like an anti-war protestor as he charged that U.S. servicemen and women were spilling blood for Big Oil, as he questioned: "Are we fighting for the American oil companies for Mobil and Exxon? And they are making these enormous profits because of access to oil over there...Should we put Exxon signs up over Arlington Cemetery and Mobil signs up there, like they have at baseball stadiums?"
Pivoting off a David Shuster report that claimed Alan Greenspan "provided evidence" that the Iraq war has been "fought for oil," Matthews devoted much of the September 17 edition of "Hardball" to that conspiracy theory. The following is Shuster's report followed by Matthews's various "No Blood for Oil," rants:
The idea that cable network MSNBC is liberally biased is certainly no stunning revelation. However, when one of its foremost liberal hosts, Keith Olbermann, admits it on the air, that is truly something to behold.
Such actually occurred Thursday evening, and was captured for posterity by Real Clear Politics' Blake Dvorak (h/t NBer SMGalbraith, video available here courtesy Olbermann Watch with thanks to NB reader Damien G.).
To set this up, Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards bought some advertising time on MSNBC Thursday evening to respond to President Bush's address to the nation concerning Iraq. After the ad finished, Olbermann disgracefully said the following:
In an interview with Playboy magazine, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann actually fulminated that "Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda." He then went on to compare his cable rival to the Ku Klux Klan and rail against Rudy Giuliani. And this is the guy who is hosting football coverage on NBC? Live?
Speaking of Fox News, the network proved this week that it’s not always "fair and balanced." FNC reporter Laurie Dhue anchored a segment entitled "Lavatory Lust" that re-enacted the infamous Larry Craig bathroom incident. Before ending the "Geraldo at Large" piece, Dhue editorialized that it was sad Craig "had to go to a public place, and that’s the shame of homosexuality in this country right, today — at least the shame that the Republican Party puts on it."
Look for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to be pinning a DNC medal for heroism on Mika Brzezinski. The MSNBC newsreader opened today's "Morning Joe" with an intrepid assault on President Bush, undaunted by the rhetorical fire she knew it would draw from NewsBusters.
On Thursday night, after President Bush's Address to the Nation regarding Iraq, MSNBC featured a discussion dominated by criticism of the President from the left, which bolstered the views of such liberal guests as talk radio host Rachel Maddow and Democratic Senator Joe Biden, and challenged conservative guest and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's take on the speech. Chris Matthews showed repeated fascination with the President's reference to 36 nations fighting in Iraq, calling it "ludicrous." When Maddow compared America's toppling of Saddam Hussein's government to attempts by insurgents to topple the current elected government by remarking that "it's like getting a lecture on the evils of prostitution from David Vitter," Keith Olbermann seemed impressed as he labeled her words "the first zing of the night." (Transcript follows)
On his Thursday night radio show, Mark Levin laid into MSNBC's Joe Scarborough over a Thursday morning interview with Arianna Huffington. (He calls the host "the Morning Schmo.") Scarborough had no answer for Huffington when she stoutly defended the MoveOn.org ad bashing Gen. David Petraeus. She added: "And again and again, despite the administration's best efforts to present him as this figure beyond reproach, we see that he's playing politics. He's playing politics with soldiers' lives in Iraq."
Levin found it disgusting that Huffington can sit in her luxury home and sip Chardonnay while Gen. Petraeus and his troops have their boots on the ground on the front lines every day sacrificing for the country. Here's the exchange from MSNBC:
Nearly everyone with a television can make jokes about TV awards shows, especially the speech-making. How many times have people made the hoariest jokes about thanking the "little people," or mimicking Sally Field’s Oscar speech: "You like me! You really like me!" But Kathy Griffin, the comedienne with the self-satirizing "My Life on the D-List" show on that D-list network Bravo, took the ritual to a new low when she won an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program.
She mocked Jesus Christ.
"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award," she declared. "I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. So, all I can say is, 'suck it, Jesus.' This award is my god now." The audience reaction? Reporters noted laughter in the crowd. Griffin certainly knew Hollywood die-hards would be pounding the tables over that one.
It's a flip-flop that would be the envy of John Kerry in good windsurfing weather off Nantucket. For the last two days, Chris Matthews had been excoriating General David Petraeus for his reluctance to opine on the effect of the Iraq war on America's safety at home. Suddenly this morning, Matthews has decided that -- guess what? -- it's not Petraeus's job to make pronouncements of that sort.
As far as MSNBC's Chris Matthews is concerned, David Petraeus, four-star general, commander of the Multi-National Force-Iraq, someone who has devoted his life to serving our country, is no better than Charlie McCarthy, a ventriloquist's dummy.
While right-thinking people across the fruited plain cast their anger at MoveOn for its disgraceful ad placed in Monday's New York Times, "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann should be sharing the dishonor.
As adroitly identified at Olbermann Watch Wednesday: "Long before the moveon [sic] ‘Betray Us' advertisement, back on August 16th, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann began his ‘newscast' in the usual fashion, bellowing the opening spiel."
Taken directly from MSNBC.com's transcript that evening (emphasis added):
In the 1990s, Laura Ingraham was an exception to the rule, a conservative allowed into the rarefied air of network news. She was a Sunday night commentator on CBS Evening News -- matched on the left by Sen. Bill Bradley -- and then a host of a live morning show on MSNBC. In her brand spanking new book Power to the People, just out yesterday, Laura dishes on what it was like in the lion's den:
From Day One, I was a fish out of water in the television news business. I didn’t come from their world and I didn’t buy into their worldview. They knew it and I knew it. As a conservative lawyer who had worked for the Reagan administration and clerked on the Supreme Court for Clarence Thomas, I didn’t fit the CBS mold of the earnest, idealistic, liberal, "citizen-of-the-world" type attracted to the news business. I might as well have dropped in from a blinking spaceship from Saturn. One of the closet conservatives at the network told me that most of the producers and on-air talent thought the top brass’s decision to hire me was a "pathetic sell-out to the Right."
Reporting comedian Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks at an award show set to air on Saturday, MSNBC anchor Norah O'Donnell left out the harshest line. The effect was to make it sound like the liberal former "View" guest host was being unfairly "censored" by TV producers for making a mild joke about award recipients who thank Jesus for their success, rather than blaspheming Jesus Christ directly.
See UPDATE at foot: Gen. Petraeus subsequently testified to the importance of Iraq to national security.
In the wake of the odious MoveOn.org ad calling our commander in Iraq "General Betray Us," [read Dean Barnett's excellent take here] you might have thought the last thing a responsible member of the media would do would be to accuse other senior officials of "betrayal."
I did say "responsible." On this afternoon's "Hardball," Chris Matthews accused President Bush of "betrayal" for his handling of Iraq.
The "Hardball" host was fuming over Gen. Petraeus's reluctance to state whether the war in Iraq would make America safer.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: He couldn't say whether what we're doing in Iraq makes America safer or not. He couldn't say whether the lost lives, the misery, the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent are worth the effort in terms of our national security.
Some people are hard to shop for, but when it comes to MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski it's going to be a breeze. Next to her name on my Chanukah list, I'm putting her down without hesitation . . . for a Roget's Thesaurus. Because when it comes to describing the performance of people across her political divide, Mika seems stuck on a solitary word: "underwhelming."
As noted here, reading the news of Fred Thompson's "Tonight Show" appearance last week, Mika editorialized that "it was sort of underwhelming, but . . . it's done."
At the top of today's "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough invited Mika to assess General Petraeus's performance before Congress yesterday, and . . . you guessed it.
A recession is classically defined as two back-to-back quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product (GDP), something that last happened six years ago with the 2001 recession. So what did Witt see that portended an imminent collapse?
Well, "[f]inancial experts were blindsided by a new report today that found 4,000 jobs were cut last month. That is the first time that's happened in four years. These numbers follow another report that finds home foreclosures have hit a record high," Witt explained.
Voilà! Two scary negative statistics and there you have it, the economy teetering of the brink of utter ruin. Only, we've heard the media hype about pending recessions before. From our friends at the MRC's Business & Media Institute:
Darn it, when will Osama Bin Laden's jack-in-the-box moments start hurting Republicans, as they should? That was the prevailing sentiment on today's "Morning Joe." At 6:40 a.m. EDT, reacting to the news that OBL is planning to release a new video to mark the sixth anniversary of 9-11, Host Joe Scarborough expressed his perplexity to NBC News political director Chuck Todd.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Hey Chuck, we see Osama Bin Laden is appearing again, coming to a computer somewhere near you soon. Of course Republicans wish he would show up two days before the election cause the guy certainly helped George Bush beat John Kerry back in 2004. But how does the re-emergence of Osama Bin Laden impact this race? Do we assume that it's going to help the Republican party again like it did in 2004?
CHUCK TODD: I don't know. You keep wondering when is the double-edged part of this sword [going to] show up? Does him popping up on TV screens serve as a reminder, you know on Iraq, the public might think that Iraq is a diversion, and hey you Bush took his eye off of the ball. This guy is still out there. But let's see if it is him. I guess he's using Hair Club for Men now, Just for Men [earlier Joe had joked that OBL was using "For Terrorists Only."] . . . Where do you get hair color in the mountains of Pakistan? I didn't realize you could do that. Knee jerk, it seems to still help Republicans, even Hillary Clinton said that. She probably shouldn't have done that, but she did say that. But at some point, the more Osama pops up, it's may end up eventually hurting the Republicans.
If part of NewsBusters' mission is keeping the MSM on its toes, it looks like we're succeeding when it comes to the MSNBC show "Morning Joe." For two days running, host Joe Scarborough has mentioned our site, conscious that we're on the prowl for evidence of liberal bias. Yesterday at about 6:30 A.M. EDT, Joe and newsreader Mika Brzezinski were discussing the fact that President Bush had mentioned to Robert Draper, author of the new Bush biography "Dead Certain," that he was expecting to replenish his financial coffers upon leaving office.
Said Scarborough “I hope NewsBusters heard that cause you said [it was only] a little [untoward on Bush's part].’ I say ‘a lot.’ Let them make me the poster boy today.”
Joe had NewsBusters on the noggin again today. At about 7:07 A.M. EDT Mika injected her opinion into the reading of a news item about Fred Thompson's "Tonight Show" appearance.
I just viewed this video via Michelle Malkin of failed sportscaster Keith Olberman naming her Worst Person of the Week and pushing a quote by Geraldo Rivera in doing it:
“Michelle Malkin is the most vile, hateful commentator I’ve ever met in my life,” he says. “She actually believes that neighbors should start snitching out neighbors, and we should be deporting people.
“It’s good she’s in D.C. and I’m in New York,” Rivera sneers. “I’d spit on her if I saw her.”
Now it appears Michelle has had a small ad buy which served to call attention to the quote banned by Quigo. So, Rivera's ugliness is okay for broadcast on MSNBC in another sad attempt to further demean the target in this, but it's not okay to point a finger at Rivera with his own words?
Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, whose many large contributions to Democratic coffers, including Hillary Clinton came from an apparently non-existent source, has jumped bail yet again. As reported by the Associated Press,
Hsu, a Hong Kong native, was also supposed to turn over his passport Wednesday. Hsu's prominent Silicon Valley criminal defense attorney Jim Brosnahan said Hsu failed to give the passport to the legal team on Monday. "Mr. Hsu is not here and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is," Brosnahan said outside court. Brosnahan said that "there was some contact" with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say how and who talked to Hsu. Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft, admitting he'd defrauded investors of $1 million after falsely claiming to have contracts to purchase and sell Latex gloves. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date.
On Tuesday's "Countdown," MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment" rant against President Bush, branding him a "liar" because the President raised the possibility of withdrawing some American troops during his speech in Iraq, after the President had also spoken, in Robert Draper's new book, "Dead Certain," of "sustaining a presence" in Iraq. Olbermann assumed Bush's two statements -- about withdrawing some troops and "sustaining a presence" -- could not be consistent, thus contending Bush had revealed an "evil secret." Olbermann: "A man with any self respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country! You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir!" (Transcript follows)
Mother Teresa died ten years ago this week, just days after Princess Diana perished in a car crash, displaying a very interesting comparison in media reactions. Princess Diana, molded by so much positive publicity over the years into a "secular saint" when she died, drew superior coverage, both in amount and in tone. Mother Teresa's publicity was also very positive over the years, of course, but the media seemed more willing to solicit harsh criticism of her life, even at the time of her death. Brent Bozell chronicled that story in his column ten years ago:
The world's media are busy mourning the death of the Princess Diana ten years ago. But while they are mourning the fact that they lost a ready-made newsmaker who shared many of their goals, they have forgotten to remember the anniversary of a far more important event than the death of the former wife of Great Britain's heir to the throne. As I was reminded by Lead and Gold, today is the twenty-seventh anniversary of the Polish communist government agreeing to the demands of striking shipyard workers. This surrender by the Communist leadership of Poland presaged the breaking loose of the satellite nations of the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain and led directly to the fall of the U.S.S.R. As Lead and Gold writes,
The strike marked the beginning of the end of communist rule in Eastern Europe. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are, rightly, given the greatest share of credit for winning the Cold War. But Lech Walesa and John Paul II played indispensable roles. ...